LMD partners Chinese firms to measure blood pressure

  • January 19, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

A key-fob-size device that delivers clinically accurate vital signs measurements, including blood pressure, wirelessly to a smartphone has been developed by Swiss firm Leman Micro Devices (LMD) and Chinese companies Shanghai Minshi and Bluetooth specialist Wuqi.

The standalone Minshi key-fob incorporates LMD’s patented V-Sensor, plus a battery and a Wuqi chip that links via Bluetooth to a dedicated app on a smartphone.

The circular device measures 5cm in diameter by 2.5cm deep, fits into the palm of the hand and can be attached to a key ring, worn around the neck or carried in a handbag. Portable, cuff-less and calibration-free, the Minshi measures blood pressure when pressure is gently applied to either side of the device by gently squeezing between thumb and forefinger.

Following simple game-style instructions displayed by the dedicated app and pressing on the V-Sensor on the Minshi occludes the arteries in the tip of the index finger, the same as the proven Riva-Rocci method used by a blood pressure cuff. The pressure on the fingertip that balances the pressure of the blood inside the artery is detected optically with the V-Sensor’s pulse oximeter and an absolute blood pressure reading is displayed on the user’s smartphone around 45 seconds later.

It also measures contactless body temperature: the user brings the module slowly up to their forehead, the smartphone app pings and displays the temperature reading.

LMD develops medically accurate smartphone and mobile device technology for personal healthcare. Its V-Sensor and e-Checkup app were developed for integration into smartphones, mobile devices and wearables, enabling users to monitor their own vital signs, including blood pressure, blood oxygen level, pulse rate, temperature and respiration rate with the same medical accuracy as doctors and clinicians.

“Our partnership with Shanghai Minshi and Wuqi is a very exciting development which will deliver our V-Sensor into the hands of consumers during 2021, enabling them to take charge of their personal health more fully than is possible with any other wearable or fitness tracker device on the market,” said Chris Elliott, co-founder of LMD. “V-Sensor mobile devices, wearables and smartphones are the only devices in the world that can measure vital signs to clinical accuracy, and we are delighted to have two outstanding partners to deliver the first standalone Bluetooth-enabled V-Sensor product.”

V-Sensor devices are third-generation devices, a step forward beyond current fitness tracker-type wearable devices: unlike the latter, they are medical-grade technology and provide clinically accurate results. Blood pressure is the number one health risk factor worldwide, causing over ten million deaths per year because many people do not realise they have it, yet it is easy to treat once diagnosed. V-Sensor needs no calibration and dispenses with any need for BP measurement with home cuff devices.

“It’s tremendously exciting to be collaborating with Wuqi and LMD to develop this, the world’s first truly standalone miniature blood pressure and vital signs device,” said Zhongwei Geng, CEO of Shanghai Minshi. “So easy to carry and simple to use with the dedicated app, it offers the ultimate in convenience for medically accurate, anytime, anywhere blood pressure measurement.”

LMD is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the heart of the Health Valley and close to EPFL University and major phone sensor companies. Founded in 2010 with funding by Business Angels, Venture Capital and two players in the smartphone sector, LMD developed its e-Checkup system for integration into smartphones and other personal devices. A sensor combined with an easy-to-use app, the smartphone-integrated system measures blood pressure and other vital signs to medical accuracy. It is on track to obtain international regulatory approval. LMD is an ISO 13485 certified company.

Based in China and established in 2016, Wuqi Technology provides integrated chips in the IoT and AI sectors, focusing on IoT communication, security and devices that use AI technologies. Its products cover wireless stereo, wifi and 3D facial recognition. Bluetooth devices are one of its core technologies: its latest supports dual-mode Bluetooth and Bluetooth 5.2.

Established in Shanghai in 2015, Minshi is mainly dedicated to computer vision understanding and neural network study. It has experience in intelligent hardware research and development, and provides artificial intelligence, IoT and big data technology. The firm has independently developed software and hardware for image recognition and has received dozens of patents. Applications are in the security, education, healthcare, finance and other industries.